VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Get involved as a volunteer

Join our dedicated team of volunteers at Milner Gardens & Woodland!

This is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and to participate in making Milner Gardens & Woodland a world-class venue.

Milner Gardens & Woodland volunteers receive orientation, hands-on training, horticultural knowledge, invitations to volunteer-only events and courses, the satisfaction of being part of creating an exciting community-oriented project, and of course, ... you will have our undying gratitude!

To become a volunteer, please fill out a Volunteer Application Form and either drop it off at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre (during open hours) or mail to:

Milner Gardens & Woodland
2179 West Island Highway
Qualicum Beach, BC
V9K 1G1

Update Your Volunteer Information:

If you are a current Milner Garden & Woodland volunteer and wish to let us know of any changes in contact information, areas of interest or other details, please fill out volunteer application form and mail it to the address above or drop it off at the main office.

Volunteer Areas & Positions:

EDUCATION

SHOOTS WITH ROOTS (Swr) MENTORS:

Shoots with Roots mentors assist the Shoots with Roots coordinator with school visits to Milner Gardens by accompanying school groups and helping children with activities, handing out equipment, and gently reinforcing expectations. This volunteer opportunity is available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings during the school year with a minimum commitment of five volunteer shifts over the course of the year. Experience working with groups of young children is required, as is a criminal record check.

INTERPRETATION

TOUR GUIDE:

Leads groups through the Gardens and Woodland identifying plants, birds and animal habitat; while telling of its history, connections to the Milner family, and relationship to Vancouver Island University and horticultural collection. Gives the public visiting Milner House information about the house and its history, as well as about the social history surrounding Milner Gardens & Woodland.

HORTICULTURE

FLORIST: 

Creates floral bouquets for special events, weddings and the Camellia Tea Room using the Gardens resources.

NURSERY AND PLANT SALES ASSISTANT:

Assists the Nursery Grower with the organization of the two annual plant sales. Cares for and sells plants in the sales area and interacts with the visiting public. Knowledge of plants is required, or a willingness to learn and research.

SEED SAVERS:

Bagging, collecting, labeling and processing seeds for sale and for propagation of new plants in the Gardens. July to November only.

TRAIL & WOODLAND STEWARD:

Walks the trails, paths, driveway and parking lots to ensure that they are clean (raking, sweeping and removing broken/fallen branches), signage is clean and all areas are presentable and safe for the public prior to opening in the morning. Please note working alone in the woodlands is required.

WEDNESDAY GARDENER:

This group meets every Wednesday morning and assists the Grounds Keeper with many gardening tasks around the Gardens.

VISITOR SERVICES

GIFT SHOP ASSISTANT:

Interacts with visitors, transacts sales, and prices merchandise and uses creative talent to help display the gift and gardening items. Serves visitors refreshments and snacks, handles the payments and maintains the Gift Shop in a clean, welcoming and orderly fashion.

SHUTTLE CART DRIVER:

Transports visitors to/from the Welcome Interpretive Centre to the Gift Shop, Nursery and/or Milner House in a seven-passenger golf cart.

WELCOME & INTERPRETIVE CENTRE CASHIER:

Welcomes visitors, takes admissions and/or checks membership status, promotes membership, answers the phone, informs the public about general information, policy and activities of the Gardens.

CAMELLIA TEA ROOM

KITCHEN ASSISTANT:

Makes tea/coffee, washes china and assists with kitchen preparations such as baking, cooking, candy making, food prep and cleaning.

TEA ROOM SERVER:

Takes down orders, serves customers food and beverages, shares knowledge about the menu, house and gardens, and accepts cash and debit payments.

MAINTENANCE

FACILITIES MAINTENANCE & CONSTRUCTION:

Performs painting and repairs to the Main House, Gardener’s Cottage, Gift Shop and Welcome Interpretive Centre, as well as mends fences, benches and more on the property.

SPECIAL EVENTS

CHRISTMAS LIGHTERS:

Helps with site preparations for the annual Milner Christmas Magic. Work happens between October and December each year. Most of the work is at ground level and ladder climbing is not expected.

FAIRY HOUSE HELPERS:

May to mid-June; collecting and organizing plant material for making fairy houses/scenes.

GARDEN AMBASSADOR:

Staffs our booth at various shows and markets, answers questions, provides membership and volunteer information, distributes brochures, and may also administer draws as well as sell seeds, plants and raffle tickets. Facilitates events by helping to organize and/or prepare the site for the event and clean up afterwards.

PARKING ATTENDANT/TRAFFIC CONTROLLER:

Directs traffic at the entrance and the parking lot during especially busy days (Mother's Day, statutory holidays, etc.) and special events.

SPECIAL EVENT SHUTTLE CART DRIVER:

Typically on-call as additional support for the regularly scheduled shuttle driver for special events, holidays and weddings.

WEDDING SUPPORT:

Participate in wedding events, assist in preparations before the event and clean up after the event. This may include meeting potential clients to discuss price/policy and show them the grounds.

COMMITTEES

FUND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE:

Helps to source and write grant applications and raise funds to support the general operation, growth and evolution of the Gardens.

MARKETING COMMITTEE:

Assists in the promotion of the Gardens through various activities including planning for and participation in community events, social media marketing and distribution of promotional material.

For more information, please contact Volunteer Services at:
Volunteer.MilnerGardens@shaw.ca